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Tomatoes of all shapes and varieties are available at the moment and Tomato Provencal is a classic, Alison Lambert writes.
I like to mix the varieties of tomatoes and play around with the ensemble of herbs.
4 large firm tomatoes,cores removed
20g butter, softened
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt flakes, freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp dried thyme leaves
½ tsp dried rosemary leaves
½ tsp dried oregano leaves
4 large basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
100g fresh breadcrumbs
20g freshly grated parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 190degC.
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper or tinfoil, and brush with a little oil.
Slice tomatoes in half horizontally. If very large, you can slice into 3 even slices.
Lightly oil on both sides and season well with salt and pepper.
Mix together the dried herbs (thyme, rosemary and oregano) and sprinkle over enough to lightly cover the surface. Store any remaining herbs in an airtight jar for later use. Slice garlic finely and scatter over surface. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes, remove.
Mix the breadcrumbs, parmesan and softened butter together, add a sprinkle of salt and mulch it all together. Spoon on to the tomatoes and return to the oven. Bake for 15 minutes or until the tomatoes are tender and the crumbs are golden and crisp.
Finely slice the basil and scatter over the tomatoes. Enjoy!
• Alison Lambert is one of the demonstrators at the Otago Farmers Market in Dunedin on Saturday mornings.